Flash on your iPhone? How About No!

Posted on April 30, 2010 by .

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Apple has blatantly refused to allow Flash on its products.

Apple has blatantly refused to allow Flash on its products.

For iPhone users who’ve been wondering whether their devices will support Flash technology for Web video and games anytime soon, the answer is finally here, straight from Steve Jobs: No.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has published an open letter called Thoughts on Flash detailing why Apple doesn’t allow Flash to run on iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

In the letter Jobs says he believed that the software was unreliable and not secure, and that its performance drained battery life on mobile devices. He also objected to the proprietary nature of the software, saying Apple believed “that all standards pertaining to the Web should be open.”

The discussion of being open vs being closed is what captured my attention.

Jobs mentions that “While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.”

He then goes on to point that “Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards.”

So Jobs has fully admitted that Apple’s products are closed systems. And there’s nothing wrong with that, or is there? Apple does adopt open standards and the mobile devices it creates make it simple for you to consume media of every type on widely-used and accepted platforms, and they are all open.

The web is open so why would we want to take a step backwards and embrace the closed and stagnant environment of Adobe Flash? Share your thoughts on this topic below.

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